New York Magazine reports:
Members of Donald Trump’s family and entourage, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner and China-hawk trade adviser Peter Navarro, will not be playing a major diplomatic role in the president’s upcoming visit to Asia, Politico reported last week. Instead, the president’s handler-Cabinet, a group dominated by military generals, will
be calling the shots.
White House chief of staff John Kelly has so far managed to ensure that the official delegation is dominated by the coterie of senior officials increasingly referred to as the “adults in the room” at the White House, such as National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Defense Secretary James Mattis. That these men’s job is to protect Trump from himself is no longer a point of debate.
Kelly and Mattis are retired Marine generals, and McMaster is a serving lieutenant general in the Army. These men occupying some of the top positions in the White House represent an unusual level of military access to and control over the president, author Mark Perry writes in a troubling piece at Politico Magazine.
Eliot Cohen, director of the Strategic Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, calls these men a “benign junta” and says we should be “grateful” for having them there. Perry’s other expert compares Trump’s staff of generals to the Turkish general staff and admits that the problem is Trump himself...
The neoconservative Trump critic Jennifer Rubin, who also uses the word junta to describe Kelly and his fellow brass, wants to bar generals from serving in government, calling on Congress to “stomp out creeping military authoritarianism.” That is a remarkable statement coming from an American Likudnik who has built a career as a professional proponent of war and militarism both here and in Israel.